Tag: FCC

Wireless & Telecom Regulatory Compliance for Top 5 African Economies

by on Nov.23, 2015, under Wireless

This africa-flag-mappost is an overview of the wireless and telecom compliance requirements for the 5 largest population countries in Africa.  As with any electrical product compliance issue, regulations can change rapidly, so check in with MET’s Global Market Access Group for the latest requirements.

The most populous country in Africa, Nigeria accepts EU R&TTE Directive reports and CE Declarations of Conformity (DoCs) as proof of compliance.

  • Required: Local company representative, regulatory marking
  • Not required: Product test samples

Certificates have no expiration date, but they must be updated if the approved product is modified.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) website is available in English.  It lists what categories of telecom and wireless technologies are affected.

The 2nd most populous country in Africa, Ethiopia accepts FCC grants and test reports or EU R&TTE Directive reports and CE DoCs as proof of compliance.

  • Not required: Product test samples, local company representative, and regulatory marking

Certificates have no expiration date, but they must be updated if the approved product is modified.

The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) website is available in English.  It lists what categories of telecom and wireless technologies are affected.

The 3rd most populous country in Africa, Egypt has compliance requirements for EMC, health and safety, wireless, and telecom.  The National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) accepts EU R&TTE Directive reports as proof of compliance.

  • Required: Product test samples (telecom only)
  • Not required: Local company representative

Certificates have no expiration date, but they must be updated if the approved product’s critical components are modified.

The NTRA website is available in English.  It includes information on type approvals and categories of products covered.

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
The 4th most populous country in Africa, DRC accepts FCC grants and test reports or EU R&TTE Directive reports as proof of compliance.

  • Required: Local company representative
  • Not required: Product test samples, regulatory marking

Certificates are valid for 10 years, assuming no change to the product.

The Congolese Post and Telecommunications Agency website is in French only and has limited information.

Note: The U.S. government places some restrictions on certain ‘dual-use’ (military and non-military application) technologies for export to DRC.

South Africa
The 5th most populous country in Africa, South Africa accepts FCC grants and test reports or EU R&TTE Directive reports and CE DoCs as proof of compliance.

  • Required: Local company representative, regulatory marking
  • Not required: Product test samples

Certificates have no expiration date, but they must be updated if the approved product is modified.

The Independent Commissions Authority of South Africa (ICASA) website is available in English.  It provides information on relevant regulations and certification programs.

Our dedicated Homologations Team and extensive network of international labs can help you get your products certified in over 65 countries.  Contact Us today for a free quotation or to ask a question.

To learn more about gaining approvals to sell your product around the world, register for a free webinar on Global Market Access.

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Inductive Wireless Charging Products Must Comply with These Emissions & SAR Requirements

by on Nov.11, 2015, under Wireless

power.480Manufacturers of new technologies often struggle to determine what electrical compliance regulations apply to their products.  Here is a basic guide for inductive wireless power products, like the wireless mobile phone chargers that are gaining more market penetration.

This post is derived from an Intel Corporation presentation given at the recent FCC TCB Council Workshop in Baltimore, MD.  As a leading FCC TCB, MET Labs attends this workshop annually.

With the merger last week of the Alliance for Wireless Power and the Power Matters Alliance into the new AirFuel Alliance, the inductive wireless power product industry has been reduced to two competing technologies. (Wireless Power Consortium, owner of the Qi wireless standard, controls the other one).  These two technologies sometimes vary in their compliance requirements, as noted below.

Emissions: 6.78 MHz Emissions: 100-400 KHz RF Exposure (SAR)
United States FCC Part 18 FCC Part 15C or Part 18 FCC Part 1.1310
Canada RSS 216 RSS 216, RSS gen or RSS 210 RSS 102
Europe EN 55011 EN 300 330 or EN 55011 1999/519/EC, ICNIRP
China MIIT No. 423, Type C MIIT No. 423, Type A or D No
Korea RRA Notice 2013-9 RRA Notice 2013-9 FCC Part 1.1310
Japan In development In development ICNIRP


In many of these markets, standards and regulations are in transition, so contact MET to determine the latest requirements.

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FCC Incorporates ANSI C63.4-2014 and ANSI C63.10-2013 into Rules for Unintentional and Intentional Radiators

by on Apr.06, 2015, under EMC, Wireless

FCC logoOn December 30, 2014, the U.S. Federal Communication Commission (FCC) issued a Report and Order in ET Docket No. 13-44, updating the Commission’s radiofrequency (RF) equipment authorization program to expand the use of FCC-recognized Telecommunications Certification Bodies (TCBs) like MET Labs as a faster and less expensive way to certify equipment. The new rules outsource the entire certification process to TCBs, in order to speed the introduction of new and innovative products to the market while ensuring that they do not cause harmful interference.

Updating Measurement Procedures

The FCC is updating equipment measurement requirements by incorporating references to ANSI C63.4-2014 and ANSI C63.10-2013 into the rules, for determining the compliance of unintentional and intentional radiators, respectively.

The new rules go into effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, but the FCC is providing a one year transition period for ANSI C63.4.  During this transition, parties may continue to comply with either ANSI C63.4-2003, ANSI C63.4-2009 or with the new ANSI C63.4-2014.  After the transition period, only compliance with ANSI C63.4-2014 will be accepted.  The FCC will apply the same one-year transition period for use of the new edition of ANSI C63.10-2013.

The FCC continues to believe that there is insufficient evidence that rod antennas, artificial hands or absorber clamps produce accurate, repeatable measurements, and that short-duration emissions can produce as much nuisance to radio communications as continuous emissions.   Therefore, the FCC will continue to exclude ANSI C63.4-2014 sections that allow for these methods.

The FCC also addressed the so-called “2 dB rule,” which is a method used to limit the amount of testing needed by determining the worst-case equipment configuration.   ANSI C63.4-2009 included a change from ANSI C63.4-2003 that revised this procedure, but some industry stakeholders were concerned that this change would lead to substantial increases in costs.  To reduce potential burdens on equipment manufacturers, the FCC will continue to accept the use of the 2 dB method in ANSI C63.4-2003 for demonstrating compliance with the requirement in Section 15.31(i), at least until the FCC adopts further revisions to the standard.

On a related matter, the FCC remains unconvinced that it should allow the use of the measurement procedures in CISPR 22 for unintentional radiators, as an alternative to the ANSI-ASC standards being incorporated into the rules at this time.  The FCC also noted that the use of the ANSI C63.4-2014 standard is an improvement over the 2009 standard, in that it provides a means for the use of hybrid antennas that is appropriate and reliable for providing accurate radiated emissions measurements.

Post-Market Surveillance

The new FCC equipment authorization program also includes a new surveillance element for already-certified equipment.  This is something that has been integral in other product compliance programs, like the U.S. NRTL product safety program.

Manufacturers need to maintain methods for ensuring that their equipment continues to meet the specifications certified under the new procedures.  The FCC codified the guidelines currently appearing in its Knowledge Data Base (KDB) for conducting post-market surveillance, placing them into Section 2.962 of the Commission’s rules as mandatory requirements.  In addition to performing post-market surveillance on devices selected by the TCB, the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) may select samples for the TCB to test.  This is designed to prevent a manufacturer or TCB from selecting “golden samples” that may misrepresent the actual behavior of the equipment.

Have questions about the new requirements or need a free quote for continued FCC compliance?   Contact us today.

MET Labs is accredited for both FCC testing and FCC certification, and deeply experienced in RF approvals for global market access.

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More Products Are Subject to FCC and R&TTE Wireless Module Compliance

by on Feb.23, 2015, under EMC, Wireless

SonyWireless modules are increasingly being integrated into everyday products, like refrigerators, cars, and consumer medical devices.  Therefore, more manufacturers need to be aware of the regulatory requirements of wireless transmitters.

European Union
In the European Union, it is mandatory that radio equipment meets the requirements for the Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive (R&TTE) 1999/5/EC (replaced in June 2016 by the Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EC).

The manufacturer of the wireless-enabled product is responsible for its overall compliance.  Module manufacturers must provide clear instructions of integration to any host product manufacturer.

Since the R&TTE Directive does not make specific reference to wireless modules, there are no strict rules to follow, but there are a few general guidelines to keep in mind:

  • When an R&TTE compliant module is integrated into a final host product, no further radio compliance testing is required, provided the module is integrated in accordance with its manufacturer’s instructions
  • The final host product must always meet the other essential safety and EMC requirements of the directive
  • The most common method of demonstrating compliance and a presumption of conformity with R&TTE is by using harmonized standards

The R&TTE Compliance Association has issued guidance on the use of wireless modules: Technical Guidance Note 01 on the R&TTED compliance requirements for a Radio Module and the Final Product that integrates a Radio Module, May 2013.

North America
In the U.S. and Canada, the approval process is straightforward, unless there are multiple modules integrated together.

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) rules on module integration are explained in CFR 47 Part 15.212, with further detail in the guidance document KDB 996369.  The Industry Canada rules for modules are similar to those of the FCC and are spelled out in RSS-GEN Section 3.

In order for a wireless module to meet the requirements of FCC Part 15, it must comply with the requirements for shielded circuitry, a unique antenna connector, stand-alone configuration, and RF exposure limits. Once these guidelines are met, FCC modular approval is granted through a TCB like MET Labs, and the product may be operated under certain conditions of use. If the conditions of the grant are met, further testing is not required for the intentional radiator part of the host equipment.

Where multiple modules are integrated together, the rules can become more complex. This is particularly true if the host device is to be used in a portable application within 20cm of the human head or body and RF exposure becomes a major issue.  Then SAR testing is required.

Where the conditions of the modular grant cannot be adhered to when integrated into the final host, additional testing and certification is usually required.

To learn more about wireless compliance, attend our upcoming EMC & Wireless Design and Testing Seminar in Santa Clara, CA.  If you have an upcoming need for wireless equipment testing or compliance assistance, contact us today.

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RF Product Modifications May Be Eligible for an FCC Permissive Change

by on Jan.26, 2015, under Wireless

When an RF product is revised due to obsolete parts, cost cutting, or product improvements, how does the engineer know what the FCC requirements are for the altered product?  Will it require a new FCC filing and ID number or will a Permissive Change be allowed?

To allow products to be modified without requiring a new filing, the FCC has defined three Permissive Change options listed in Title 47 Part 2.1043, KDB 178919 D01 Permissive Change Policy v05r04.

Class I Permissive Change
This class includes modifications which do not degrade the characteristics accepted by the FCC when certification is granted. No filing with the Commission is required for a Class I Change.

Class II Permissive Change
This class includes modifications which degrade the performance characteristics as reported to the FCC at initial certification. In this case, the grantee must supply the Commission with results of tests of characteristics affected by the change.

Class III Permissive Change
This class includes software modifications of a software-defined radio transmitter that change the frequency range, modulation type or maximum output power (either radiated or conducted) outside the parameters previously approved.

In this case, the grantee must supply the FCC with a description of the changes and test results showing that the equipment complies with applicable rules with the new software loaded, including compliance with applicable RF exposure requirements.

Class III changes are permitted only for equipment on which no Class II changes have been made from the originally approved device.

For any of these changes, modified equipment cannot be marketed under the existing grant of certification prior to acknowledgment by the Commission that the change is acceptable.

In summary, changes to a modular radio or product will result in either a Permissive Change or a new FCC filing and ID number. The degree of change will determine both the process and the amount of supporting data required to illustrate compliance.

With few exceptions, a new FCC ID and a new equipment authorization application will be required in the event of changes to the basic frequency (including clock and data rates), frequency multiplication stages, basic modulator circuit, or maximum power or field strength ratings.

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Top 10 Compliance Today Blog Posts for Electrical Compliance Engineers in 2014

by on Jan.05, 2015, under EMC, Product Safety

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How to Request FCC Confidentiality for Proprietary Product Information

by on Dec.08, 2014, under Wireless

On October 16, 2014 the FCC published 726920 D01 Confidentiality Request Procedures, a new document that details the steps required to ensure proprietary information about your device will be held confidential.

To be granted confidentiality, your application must include a reference to 0.457(d) and 0.459 of the FCC Rules, the reason why the information should be held from the public, specific confidential information by exhibit type, name, and description, an indication if the information is a “trade secret,” a signature, and the type of confidentiality requested.  Confidentiality Letters must specifically reference the documents you wish to withhold from the public.

The two types of confidentiality are long term and short term.

Under long term confidentiality, the following exhibits are held private without filing a request:

  • Software defined radio,  cognitive radio attachments submitted into the SDR software, security info exhibit type
  • Scanning receiver information included in one of the exhibits noted as “commonly held confidential” and scanning receiver internal photos

Under long term confidentiality, the following exhibits can be held private upon request:

  • Schematics
  • Block diagrams
  • Operational descriptions
  • Parts list/tune up info

Under short term confidentiality, exhibits held private are the same as long term confidentiality, plus:

  • External photos
  • Test set up photos
  • Internal photos
  • User manuals

Short term confidentiality can only last up to 180 days. If you request short term confidentiality but market your device before the 180 day period is over, you must notify your Telecommunication Certification Body (TCB) so your confidentiality request can be removed.

If you are seeking confidentiality for an exhibit not listed above, you are able to petition the FCC and all approvals are made on a case-by-case basis.

MET Labs is a leading provider of FCC Testing and FCC Certification. Contact us today for a free fast-response quotation.

Read about how Some Electronic Devices Are Exempt from FCC EMC Testing.

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Wireless & Radio Regulations Changing for FCC & RE Directive

by on Apr.16, 2014, under Europe, Wireless

At last week’s TCB Council Workshop in Baltimore, TCBs – including MET Labs – were given an update on upcoming wireless regulatory and compliance changes. Here are the most notable.

The FCC released a First Report and Order (ET Docket No. 13-49) on April 1, 2014 allowing devices in the U-NII-1 band to operate with higher power. The R&O also allows this band to be used outdoors, whereas this has only been an indoor band previously. Some of the key points in the First R&O are:

  • Devices operating in the U-NII-1 band will be allowed 30 dBm (1 W) conducted power, a PSD of 17 dBm/MHz and an allowance of a 6 dBi antenna. However, the maximum EIRP above 30 degrees elevation is limited to 21 dBm. 
  • The upper edge of the U-UNII-3 band has been extended by 25 MHz. Therefore, the band is now 5.725 – 5.850 GHz which is in line with the 15.247 DTS band. Both rule parts will be consolidated.
  • Bin1 radar waveform will be updated to better account for actual Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) waveforms.

For equipment that is already certified, a Class II Permissive Change may be performed to update the device to the new rules. A Class II PC is performed when there are changes to the radio, such as addition of new antenna or if a rule change allows for additional provisions.

The new rules will take effect 30 days after being published in the Federal Register.  The publish date is expected soon.

The FCC has also updated the TCB Exclusion list. The exclusion list is now “empty.” Therefore, TCBs can now grant almost all applications, including equipment operating in the DFS bands and UWB equipment. However, TCBs will have to follow a Permit But Ask (PBA) procedure with the FCC to grant these devices. DFS equipment will still be independently tested by the FCC as before. But this is still expected to reduce the time to market for manufacturers.

The R&TTE Directive is getting a face lift.  It will now be called simply the Radio Equipment (RE) Directive. Telecommunications equipment will be moved over to the EMC Directive. The RE Directive will be limited to wireless RF transmitter devices and receivers. The use of the exclamation mark (i.e. !) and the NB number (if applicable) will not be required adjacent to the CE mark.

EN 300 328 v1.8.1 will become effective end of the year and any new radio device placed on or after this date will need to meet the new standard. The previous version of the standard will cease to give presumption of conformity with the requirements for Article 3(2) of the Radio Equipment Directive.

Want to know how these changes affect your products? Contact us to request a quick-response quote or schedule a free Lunchtime Review.

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Wireless Testing Regulatory Changes Discussed at TCB Council Workshop

by on Oct.31, 2013, under SAR, Wireless

At last week’s TCB Council Workshop in Baltimore, TCBs – including MET Labs – were given an update on upcoming wireless regulatory and compliance changes. Here are the most notable.

Japan SAR
Body SAR will be required for Japan starting April 1, 2014. The limit is 2 W/kg for body and 4 W/kg for arms and legs. The SAR is calculated over any 10g of tissue (as compared to 1g of tissue for FCC). Body SAR will be exempt for radio devices that have less than 20mW output power. The test method, for the most part, is harmonized with IEC 62209-2.  Read about SAR requirements in North America and Europe.

FCC Changes
There is a second FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) coming out early next year proposing still-unknown new certification procedures for FCC. This is in addition to the first NPRM that issued in February 2013 and which included significant changes to the FCC equipment authorization process.  FCC is calling it a “complete overhaul of the certification process.”  It is expected these changes will take effect in late 2014. 

Mexico and Israel MRAs
Mexico and Israel Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) should be finalized late next year. When Phase I of the MRAs are implemented, U.S. manufacturers will be able to perform testing at a local U.S. lab for those countries.  Later, when Phase II is implemented each country will be able to certify products for the other.

For questions about these changes or for an immediate test need, visit our Quote Center.

Register now for MET’s free EMC & Wireless Design & Testing Seminar in Baltimore next week.

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FDA Issues Guidance for Integration of RF Wireless Technology in Medical Devices

by on Aug.26, 2013, under EMC, Medical, Wireless

Due to rapid growth in medical devices that incorporate RF wireless technology, on August 14 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released final guidance for integrating radio frequency (RF) wireless technology in medical

MET Engineer Doing a Medical Product Evaluation

devices.  The guidance is recommended, but not mandatory.

FDA said its recommendations cover devices that are implanted or worn on the body, and others intended for use in locations such as hospitals and clinical laboratories.

The guidance discusses issues that may affect the safe and effective use of medical devices that incorporate RF wireless technology, including electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).

The use and deployment of RF wireless technology in and around medical devices is an increasing concern because the electromagnetic environments where medical devices are used might contain many sources of RF energy, and the RF wireless emissions from one product or device could potentially affect the function of another, the agency said.

FDA says these issues should be considered for all medical devices that incorporate RF wireless technology, such as Wireless Medical Telemetry Service (WMTS); Medical Device Radiocommunication Service (MedRadio) as well as Medical Micropower Network (MNN) and Medical Body Area Network (MBAN); cellular communication chipsets; and RF identification (RFID) products.

FDA recommends that EMC be an integral part of the development, design, testing, and performance for RF wireless medical devices. Beyond FCC requirements, FDA recommends using risk analysis to identify any potential issues associated with EMC and determining risk acceptability criteria based on information about the device and its intended use, including foreseeable misuse, sources of environmental EMD (e.g., radio transmitters, computer RF wireless equipment), and the potential for RF emissions to affect other devices.

IEC 60601-1-2 is a FDA-recognized consensus standard for EMC, but it does not adequately address whether the wireless communications will operate properly in the presence of in-band EMD (e.g., other RF emissions overlapping the frequency band utilized by the medical device wireless signals). Therefore, the medical device’s wireless communication(s) should be actively transmitting while testing for susceptibility during all EMC immunity testing.

EMC considerations for active implantable medical devices are covered under documents such as the ISO 14708-1 standard (see Appendix B).

FDA worked closely with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to develop this guidance.

MET Labs teamed with FDA on a voluntary Program to Test Medical Devices for RFID Interference.  Find out more about the Program. 

MET also tests medical equipment for product safety to 60601-1 3rd edition, for EMC compliance to 60601-1-2, and does performance testing for leading medical device manufacturers.

MET’s Annual Global Compliance Seminar in September will include a session on Electrical Medical Equipment Approvals for EU.  Register here.

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